The Year in My View

As the months turned to March, I was dreading the inevitable: Kuya Bot’s one year death anniversary on March 10.

It was coming so fast I had to formulate an escape. I busied myself with job hunting and crafting. I was planning Alexander’s March break; playdates and sleepovers. I kept myself busy by baking and making a list of what recipes to try. I even had a list of what to bake on the day of: egg pie, brazo de Mercedes, chocolate crinkles.  These were some of the sweets Kuya Bot requested before he passed away. I knew it was going to be a tough day. I needed to stock up on tissue boxes and truck loads of ice cream.

God had a sense of humor.

Eight days before “the day”, as I was enjoying a cookie I baked for Alexander followed by a glass of milk, I suddenly felt some pain in my stomach. It was probably from the milk. Since they took out my gallbladder in 2010, I’ve had problems with dairy. I was used to this kind of pain so I ignored it and continued working on the Avocado Cake I was making for my in laws’ anniversary dinner that night. The Avocado Cake had been mine and Jahan’s instant favorite; thank goodness there was a valid reason to make another batch (less guilt!). Little did I know that I wouldn’t even have a bite. I was in so much pain I couldn’t eat during the dinner party. I had to opt for broth instead of a steak.

I’d been in constant pain for 12 straight hours so around midnight, Jahan took me to the emergency room.

Five hours and several tests later, I was told the x-rays just showed gas (17 hours of trapped gas, very painful!) and was sent home after a heavy dose of pain killer and an early afternoon appointment for an ultrasound. I woke up Friday morning with a little less pain and went back to the hospital for my ultrasound at 1pm. After a bunch more tests, I was told I had appendicitis around 8pm and was admitted immediately. Thru my IV I was administered antibiotics which I was hoping would eliminate the need for surgery. All hope went down the drain when at 8am the next morning I was told I would be having a surgery in an hour. They wheeled me out of my room and got me prepped before Jahan could even get there.

After meeting the surgeon and his team of anesthesiologist and nurses and after being told I was having an open appendectomy, my life was fast forwarded along and I found myself waking up in the recovery room so groggy and in dire need to pee. I was introduced to a bed pan. Me and the bedpan became bosom buddies until I was rolled back to my room.

For several days, my wardrobe of choice was a faded blue hospital gown and a pair of fuzzy red socks.

I was given a steady supply of painkillers, antibiotics and warm blankets and a very strict diet of chewing gum (to pass gas). I was in there for five days; lost an appendix, several pounds and added seven staples. After spending several hours at home, we packed our bags to go to Jahan’s parents’ where we stayed while I recovered from the surgery. According to my surgeon recovery time was 3-4 weeks. Having had a bladder infection from the catheter, my recovery was painful and slow.

Through all the medical drama, March 10 ruthlessly arrived.

I made an appointment to remove my incision staples on on that day; I welcomed all the physical pain. When it was too much, I took my pain meds and I welcomed the numbness. My emotions that day felt like an unending game of Whac-A-Mole. When I started feeling some kind of pain, the pain killer would precipitously pound that feeling down until the next one popped up. Eventually too much of them would pop up and I’d have to frantically pound down a whole lot faster and harder.

After thirty one million five hundred fifty seven thousand six hundred seconds of heartbreak, the day didn’t feel any less cruel. Kuya Bot is still gone and I’m still only left with the inequitable hope that somehow, someway, time finds the time to heal all my wounds.

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